Golden Age Gangsters

by joe_538 | created - 11 May 2013 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

Gangster movies and series set in the 20's, 30's, and 40's.

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1. Underworld (1927)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson | Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent, Fred Kohler

Votes: 2,248 | Gross: $0.75M

2. Ladies of the Mob (1928)

Passed | 70 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A dead criminal's daughter falls in love with a small-time crook and tries to get him to reform before he winds up like her father.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Clara Bow, Richard Arlen, Helen Lynch, Mary Alden

Votes: 20

3. The Racket (1928)

Passed | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost, G. Pat Collins

Votes: 971

5. The Doorway to Hell (1930)

Passed | 78 min | Crime, Drama

Despite his efforts to go straight, a young gangster keeps falling back into crime.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Charles Judels, Dorothy Mathews

Votes: 843

6. Sinners' Holiday (1930)

Passed | 60 min | Crime, Romance

Ma Delano (La Verne) runs a boardwalk penny arcade, living upstairs with her sons (Cagney and Gallagher) and daughter (Knapp). Story involves rum running, accidental murder and a frame-up.

Director: John G. Adolfi | Stars: Grant Withers, Lucille La Verne, Warren Hymer, James Cagney

Votes: 420

7. Up the River (1930)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When paroled trustee Steve and former inmate Judy who try to put their criminal lives behind them are blackmailed, two career criminals come to their rescue.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Claire Luce, Warren Hymer, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 930

8. City Streets (1931)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Man joins a gang to free his girlfriend from prison.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas, William 'Stage' Boyd

Votes: 1,118

9. The Criminal Code (1930)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

After a failed attempt at running for governor, D.A. Mark Brady is appointed warden of the state prison where many of the criminals he prosecuted are incarcerated.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Walter Huston, Phillips Holmes, Constance Cummings, Boris Karloff

Votes: 839

10. Graft (1931)

54 min | Thriller

Cub reporter Dusty investigates the murder of the District Attorney and stumbles into a plot involving a kidnapping and a crooked election.

Director: Christy Cabanne | Stars: Regis Toomey, Sue Carol, Dorothy Revier, Boris Karloff

Votes: 68

11. Little Caesar (1931)

Not Rated | 79 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell, William Collier Jr.

Votes: 10,938

12. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 16,300

13. The Secret 6 (1931)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama

After rising bootlegger Slaughterhouse Scorpio eliminates his gangland competition, two reporters and a cabal of six businessmen work to expose him.

Director: George W. Hill | Stars: Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Johnny Mack Brown, Jean Harlow

Votes: 650

14. Smart Money (1931)

Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama

Immigrant Greek barber has uncommon skills in playing poker and soon rises in the seedy world of illegal gambling, but pretty blondes remain his Achilles' heel.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Evalyn Knapp, Ralf Harolde

Votes: 1,536

15. 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

Passed | 78 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Arthur Byron, Lyle Talbot

Votes: 2,170

16. The Beast of the City (1932)

Passed | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick ruthlessly goes after organized crime and is prepared to use brutal and violent methods to fight it.

Director: Charles Brabin | Stars: Walter Huston, Jean Harlow, Wallace Ford, Jean Hersholt

Votes: 982 | Gross: $0.89M

17. Night After Night (1932)

Passed | 73 min | Comedy, Drama

A successful ex-boxer opens a high-class speakeasy in what once was the childhood home of a formerly rich society girl.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: George Raft, Constance Cummings, Wynne Gibson, Mae West

Votes: 562

18. Scarface (1932)

PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An ambitious and nearly insane violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson | Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins

Votes: 23,185

19. Lady Killer (1933)

Passed | 76 min | Comedy, Crime

A former gangster makes it big in Hollywood, but his old life catches up with him.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, Margaret Lindsay, Leslie Fenton

Votes: 1,463

20. The Little Giant (1933)

Approved | 76 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

When Prohibition ends, a beer baron sees the writing on the wall, quits the rackets, and tries to break into California society.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson, Russell Hopton

Votes: 948

21. Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor | Stars: Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Leo Carrillo

Votes: 3,251

22. 'G' Men (1935)

Approved | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak, Robert Armstrong

Votes: 3,218

23. The Whole Town's Talking (1935)

Approved | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A meek milquetoast of a clerk is mistaken for Public Enemy #1, and the notorious killer takes advantage of the situation.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur, Arthur Hohl, James Donlan

Votes: 1,919

24. Bullets or Ballots (1936)

Approved | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 2,332

25. The Petrified Forest (1936)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin

Votes: 11,412

26. Dead End (1937)

Approved | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart, Wendy Barrie

Votes: 5,607

27. Dick Tracy (1937)

Approved | 290 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A master criminal called The Spider puts the famous detective's brother under a hypnotic spell and turns him against Dick.

Directors: Alan James, Ray Taylor | Stars: Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette, Lee Van Atta

Votes: 518

28. The Last Gangster (1937)

Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A gangster is jailed for ten years after his wife becomes pregnant. He becomes bitter when she divorces him and remarries.

Director: Edward Ludwig | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, James Stewart, Rose Stradner, Lionel Stander

Votes: 1,230

29. Marked Woman (1937)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties".

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Michael Curtiz | Stars: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 2,984

30. Pépé le Moko (1937)

Not Rated | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

98 Metascore

A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.

Director: Julien Duvivier | Stars: Jean Gabin, Gabriel Gabrio, Saturnin Fabre, Fernand Charpin

Votes: 5,765 | Gross: $0.15M

31. San Quentin (1937)

Approved | 70 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An army trainer becomes captain of the prison yard and in time, falls for the sister of a hardened inmate.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, Barton MacLane

Votes: 1,556

32. That I May Live (1937)

Approved | 70 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Crooks use a man's safe-cracking skills then involve him in more crime after he spends three years in jail. He falls in love with a waitress and they go to work for a traveling salesman.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: Rochelle Hudson, Robert Kent, J. Edward Bromberg, Jack La Rue

Votes: 12

33. Underworld (1937)

95 min | Crime, Drama

A young college student falls under the influence of a murderous gambler.

Director: Oscar Micheaux | Stars: Bee Freeman, Sol Johnson, 'Slick' Chester, Ethel Moses

Votes: 20

34. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

Approved | 87 min | Crime, Drama

A brilliant Park Avenue doctor becomes a criminal in order to do research into the criminal mind.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Claire Trevor, Allen Jenkins

Votes: 2,046

35. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 18,539

36. Crime School (1938)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama

A gang of underprivileged teenagers are sentenced to serve two years in a reform school after almost killing a criminal fence who attacked them.

Directors: Lewis Seiler, William Clemens | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, The Dead End Kids, Gale Page, Billy Halop

Votes: 970

37. Dick Tracy Returns (1938)

Approved | 260 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Dick Tracy battles spies and saboteurs in his efforts to bring to justice the Stark gang, a criminal family led by the vicious Pa Stark.

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Ralph Byrd, Lynne Roberts, Charles Middleton, Jerry Tucker

Votes: 343

38. Gang Bullets (1938)

Approved | 63 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A ruthless but clever gangster who knows every loophole in the law has the tables turned by a dedicated District Attorney and his assistant.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Anne Nagel, Robert Kent, Charles Trowbridge, Morgan Wallace

Votes: 122

39. I Am the Law (1938)

Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama

Law professor John Lindsay is asked by a civic leader to become a special prosecutor to go after the racketeers in town.

Director: Alexander Hall | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Barbara O'Neil, John Beal, Wendy Barrie

Votes: 320

40. Racket Busters (1938)

Passed | 71 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Manhattan gangster John "Czar" Martin enters the trucking business in an effort to control the produce market. When he catches popular trucker Danny Jordan robbing the gang's office to ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, George Brent, Gloria Dickson, Allen Jenkins

Votes: 380

41. A Slight Case of Murder (1938)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Crime

Former bootlegger Remy Marco has a slight problem with forclosing bankers, a prospective son-in-law, and four hard-to-explain corpses.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jane Bryan, Allen Jenkins, Ruth Donnelly

Votes: 1,721

42. Angels Wash Their Faces (1939)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Romance

A young man just released from a reformatory moves to a new neighborhood with his sister, intending to start a new life. However, he gets mixed up with the local mob boss and corrupt ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright | Stars: Ann Sheridan, Billy Halop, Bernard Punsly, Leo Gorcey

Votes: 358

43. Dick Tracy's G-Men (1939)

Passed | 302 min | Action, Mystery, Crime

A mad doctor named Zanoff uses a drug to bring himself back from the dead after his execution in prison. Dick Tracy sets out to capture Zanoff before he can put his criminal gang back together again.

Directors: John English, William Witney | Stars: Ralph Byrd, Irving Pichel, Ted Pearson, Jennifer Jones

Votes: 282

44. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft

Votes: 2,563

45. Invisible Stripes (1939)

Approved | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 1,245 | Gross: $0.11M

46. King of Chinatown (1939)

Approved | 57 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Violene and death stalk the Chinese of a big American city, but one man, Dr. Chang Ling, and his daughter, Dr. Mary Ling, defy the racketeers who are responsible, and, against terrific odds, bring peace to their oppressed neighbors.

Director: Nick Grinde | Stars: Anna May Wong, Akim Tamiroff, J. Carrol Naish, Sidney Toler

Votes: 70

47. King of the Underworld (1939)

Passed | 67 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

After the killing of her husband by friendly fire during a police raid, Dr. Carol Nelson tries to find gangster Joe Gurney to clear her name with the medical board.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Kay Francis, James Stephenson, John Eldredge

Votes: 907

48. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 11,579